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Understanding Trophic Interactions in Rice Agriculture: A Jigsaw Approach

Author(s): Kiersten Nicole Newtoff1, Fernando Nieto2, Emily Nodine3, Brian Robert Shmaefsky4, Kristine Grayson5

1. Montgomery College 2. SUNY Old Westbury 3. Rollins College 4. Lone Star College - Kingwood 5. University of Richmond

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Students explore four different issues related to trophic interactions that affect modern rice agriculture practices and consider relationships between these issues.


This activity utilizes the jigsaw collaborative learning technique where students split into one of four Expert groups based on their specific case study (cultivars, pesticide resistance, impacts of fertilizer, and predator-prey relationships). Each case study has a few paragraphs of text taken from primary literature and a data analysis section, which includes graph interpretation. Students become “experts” on their topic before mixing in groups with other students in their Jigsaw group. Students teach each other the information learned in the Expert groups followed by working collaboratively to answer discussion questions that tie the case studies together.

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